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Series at a glance: Phoenix-Chicago playoff preview

Apr 8, 2012, 4:35 PM EDT

Schedule

All times are Eastern.

* – if necessary

Thursday April 12 in Phoenix @ 10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
Saturday April 14 in Phoenix @ 10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
Tuesday April 17 in Chicago @ 9 p.m. (CNBC, TSN)
Thursday April 19 in Chicago @ 8 p.m. (CNBC, TSN)
*Saturday April 21 in Phoenix @ 10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, TSN)
*Monday April 23 in Chicago @ TBD (TBD)
*Wednesday April 25 in Phoenix @ TBD (TBD)

Three storylines to follow

1. Is this it for the Phoenix Coyotes? It’s not the first time the Coyotes have appeared to be on the brink of leaving Glendale, but things might be different this time. Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs has expressed extreme frustration over the long-lingering situation and the city’s financial support is one of the reasons the Coyotes have stayed in Glendale this long. This could be their final chance to shine before leaving town. Though again, we’ve heard that before.

2. The health of Jonathan Toews. Will Captain Serious be able to return from a concussion in time to play against the Coyotes? If he does, what sort of impact will he have after missing roughly two months? Toews is a huge part of the Blackhawks’ core and has averaged a point per game in 46 career playoff games.

3. Not-so-special teams. The Coyotes and Blackhawks were each in the bottom five of the league in terms of their power-play percentages. Chicago was also the fourth-worst squad in the NHL with a 78.1 penalty killing percentage. In that regard, the Coyotes were clearly superior after killing 85.5 percent of their penalties.

Records

Phoenix: 42-27-13, 97 points (1st in Pacific; 3rd in Western Conference) | Chicago: 45-26-11, 101 points (4th in Central; 6th in Western Conference)

Leading scorers

Phoenix: Ray Whitney (24G-53A-77PTS) | Marian Hossa (29G-48A-77PTS)

Starting goalies

Phoenix: Mike Smith (38-18-10, 2.21 GAA) | Chicago: Corey Crawford (30-17-7, 2.72 GAA)

Head-to-head

Phoenix won series 3-1
Oct. 18: Chicago 5, at Phoenix 2
Nov. 29: Phoenix 4, at Chicago 1
Dec. 5: Phoenix 4, at Chicago 3, SO
Feb. 11: At Phoenix 3, Chicago 0

Last 10 games

Phoenix: 7-1-2 | Chicago: 6-1-3

Playoff history

First meeting

2011 playoffs

Phoenix: Lost to Detroit 4-0 (Western Conference quarterfinals) | Chicago: Lost to Vancouver 4-3 (Western Conference quarterfinals)

Stanley Cups

Phoenix: None | Chicago: 4 (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010)

Injuries

Phoenix: None

Chicago: Dave Bolland (upper body), Andrew Brunette (foot), Steve Montador (concussion), Ben Smith (hip), Jonathan Toews (concussion), Daniel Carcillo (knee)

  1. yotesfan3 - Apr 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Lets go yotes!!!

  2. cup0pizza - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Chicago’s going to destroy Phoenix.

  3. andybugelli - Apr 8, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Hawks should take this no problem. I’m a fan and actually hoped theyd pass Detroit in the standings just for my satisfaction but I can’t say I’m not happy about playing the Yotes.

    Hawks in 5/6

  4. phillyphever - Apr 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    If Toews is playing in the series: Hawks in 7. If not: Coyotes in 6.

  5. DTF31 - Apr 9, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Coyotes are a better team than people are giving them credit. Home ice will be a pretty big factor. Less games at Madison is a good thing for anyone. Coyotes win in 5 or 7. Without Toews then Chicago won’t have enough scoring to break through Tippets system

  6. comeonnowguys - Apr 9, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    The Hawks are playing well enough lately to offset Toews’ loss on everything except the power play.

    If Mike Smith stands on head and the Hawks don’t take care of the puck in their end (both have happened enough for a historical precedence), Phoenix wins in 5.

    Otherwise, Hawks in 5.

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